New AFC Sudbury signing Adam Baily-Dennis convinced to join by 'brilliant football' he saw signs of in match against former club Aveley
Adam Bailey-Dennis says a play-off push is a realistic aim for AFC Sudbury in the Isthmian League North Division next season, writes Alex Moss.
The 28-year-old defender became AFC’s second summer signing last week, and brings to King’s Marsh a wealth of experience, having won the National League South title twice with two different clubs.
Bailey-Dennis, who joins the club on a two-year deal, believes he can help Mark Morsley’s young side improve on last season’s eighth-place finish and make a stronger bid for the top five.
“To be honest, I’m a winner,” the former Bury Town defender said. “That’s been my biggest attribute in life, whatever I do I want to win.
“Of course I want to win the league, but I think if Coggeshall don’t win the league it would be a massive failure for them with the budget they’ve got.
“I really think we can challenge up there and realistically we’ve got to push for them play-offs.
“It was Sudbury and Bury that finished just outside them last year, and it might be those two that push to get in this year. Once you get in the play-offs, you go from there.”
Bailey-Dennis met his new team mates at AFC on Tuesday this week, as pre-season training got under way ahead of their first friendly, at home to Chelmsford City this Saturday (3pm).
Chelmsford will be the first of seven sides to visit the MEL Group Stadium – as it has now reverted to being called under the return of their club sponsorship – in pre-season. Morsley’s men also have three away trips in the calendar, starting with a visit to Walsham-le-Willows next Thursday (7.45pm).
Bailey-Dennis finished 2018/19 with AFC’s rivals Aveley, where he made five appearances, the last being a 2-0 defeat to Heybridge Swifts in the play-off semi-finals at Parkside.
The ex-Colchester United Reserves player came up against Sudbury during his brief stint at Aveley, and was impressed with what he saw.
“They play brilliant football, they play football the right way,” Bailey-Dennis said. “What they lacked was a little bit of experience and a cutting edge. But they passed the ball well, they were a good side.
“When I signed for Sudbury, I had a text message from the Heybridge chairman who said ‘congratulations on the move, they’re a great club who we all aspire to be like.’
“That’s one of the best compliments you can hear from one club saying about another club. On and off the field it’s a great club.”
* Meanwhile, Long Melford have said goodbye to full-back Sam Bayliss after seven years with Mulbarton Wanderers, down a level in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, revealed as his next destination.
The Villagers travel to West Wratting for their first pre-season friendly on Saturday (2pm) before visiting Linton Granta on Tuesday (7pm) and hosting Brightlingsea Regent on Friday (July 12, 7.45pm).
* AFC Gold week 8 winners: £100 (227) P Green DE, Greys Close, Gt Cornard; £10 (130) S Kindell, Deanery Close, Sudbury; £10 (147) R Instance, Laurel Drive, Long Melford
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